Brisbane Local Food

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The ongoing Turkey saga: Turkey 3, Andy 0

I thought I'd best stop hijacking Mr Riley's blog with my Turkey saga.

You'll recall the story so far: 

Comment by Andrew Cumberland yesterday

Hey Dianne, I don't expect Bobbie to pick the difference between a turkey and chook.  But, he is actually quite suspicious of our new visitor.  I'm gonna git me a gun! (well, a water one).  

Hear that Dave?!  Now we get to blast things with water guns! We can't set fire to them - but maybe some wee in that gun?  

Comment by Dave Riley yesterday

Elaine's right -- as she so often is: water pistol weaponry. Some suggestions that using strong odors and chilli powder  or coating the soil in mesh wire will work.

One guy in aleafy Brisbane burb used plastic pink flamingos to good effect. Raised em high so that they threatened to swoop.

Comment by Dianne Caswell yesterday

You have treated these dogs like too much of the family, they just don't know their role in life. Good on You....

Comment by Andrew Cumberland yesterday

I have a young one as well, for the first time this year.  Luckily, it's been distracted by the spilled grain around the chicken coop (I bet it gives my girls lice!), but it's also digging around out the front.  Heaven help me when it discovers the raised beds.  Young Bobbie (my dog) has proved a big disappointment in the turkey chasing stakes. 

Comment by Elaine coolowl on Sunday

The Bush Turkey that scrapes mulch is the male. Suggest arming yourself with a water pistol and wetting the thing. The only real way to deal with it (apart from killing it which is not allowed unless you can find a sneaky way of doing it) is to erect a 2metre high fence around the garden. Having a lid on it helps too. It's a big ask with your extensive garden, hence the water pistol suggestion. Assuming you can find or build one.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on Sunday

I am so lucky I don't have a Bush Turkey in the garden but the Rainbow Lorikeets & Sulphur Crested are driving me mad. I Have an Elaeocarpus grandis (Blue Quandong) and they come for the flowers and small nuts whilst at the same time chewing off small branches, and what is under the tree (that is as high as a 3 story house), the Vegi Garden. The birds come in about 3 times a day so I have a mess to clean up as often.

Would love to see a Write Up on the 'Spinaches'. Tonight we are having a Boneless Lamb Roast stuffed with Warrigal Greens, Onion, Ginger Mint and Pine Nuts. I just love finding out about all the different greens I can grow and eat. Thanks for your input.

Comment by Dave Riley on Sunday

Tragically my garden has been recently discovered by the town's Bush Turkey who now thinks he/she is in bliss: mulch, verdant habitat, up and down beds...

Every day it comes to visit. And it comes back if chased away.

My dogs are useless.

It's me vs the bird.

The Coyote and The Roadrunner.

Every morning I get up to feed the chooks and every morning now there's a Bush Turkey rummaging in my vegetable garden. So every morning I'm chasing the bird around like a witch with a broom. But I don't have a broom so my martial arts skills kicked in this morning as I picked chokoes and three them at the bird.
BAM! Take that you poultry marauder! BIFF! 
It jumped the fence but was back in 20 minutes. 
So I picked up one of the dogs and went hunting with it in my arms. 
I was gonna say: Look! Attack that!
But the darn bird was no where to be seen...

But I'm not allowed to kill this poultry.It being fauna ...(and besides there's only two in the whole town -- they live in the school grounds. Peacocks own the swamp -- TRUE! -- and we're Bird Central. An avian hub. So you can't begrudge any species.). 'Turkey' is not derivative of menu attributes... The bugger was back this afternoon and I picked up the Jack Russell and gave chase...thinking it's like carrying a machine gun in a violin case. If it was a Blue Tongue Lizard or rodent he'd stiffen and struggle to get at it. But birds...After all these years I've given so much to canines. Walked them. Picked up their poo. Squeezed their anal glands...all the good times we've shared-- you'd think there would be some pay back,I could count on. One bird. Just one bird dealt with is all I ask....

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Comment by CHERYL SLAPP on July 24, 2015 at 8:21

Honeymoon over  - get ready for the battle

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 23, 2015 at 20:30

Little bugger had a bit of a dig in my garlic this morning.  He's playing with fire if he does that again. 

Comment by Lissa on July 23, 2015 at 5:48

He wants a mate. He has an eye on your "churkeys" as potential Mrs.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 22, 2015 at 22:01

He's taken to sitting on the chicken coup looking lovingly at the chooks.  So long as he does that, and doesn't get into the veg, I'm happy for him to sit there all day long.  

Comment by DARREN JAMES on July 22, 2015 at 17:17

Yep those mirrors are used to actually trap the birds,as they put them in the back of the trap .IMagine what 4 mirrors might do .Id say they would really freak it out.

Comment by Dave Riley on July 22, 2015 at 8:14

Here's something to yearn for...

When I'm at the school garden which butts onto some virgin bush, I sometimes see the bush turkey at distance as it gambols on the lawns. We give each other a nod...and go about our respective businesses.

We're sweet. All those altercations we had; the plants she uprooted; the holes she dug --  all just water under the bridge.

I may be a tad anthropocentric but I'm no speciecist. I think if animals and human are to get along in life we need to respect one another.

By that I don't mean to suggest I'm asking for the PETA type obsessions... Just that we should leave each other alone.

It's a two way street...That's all I'm asking. Go mine someone else's yard.

 Of all the gardens, in all the towns, in all the world, why does she have to walk into mine?

Comment by Lissa on July 22, 2015 at 5:51

Here's some good info from Sydney gardening friend Jeff who's also waging war against the turkeys - he uses a large mirror in the garden. Apparently the male thinks it's a rival and freaks out.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on June 21, 2015 at 22:27

I'm telling ya, Dave.  It's a jungle out there!

My latest sit-rep: 

Bette meets Percy

Situation:  It had to happen.  The girls were out this morning, and Percy the Bush Turkey decided to visit. 

Background:  Although Bette is my biggest chook, she is the newest.  Consequently, she's at the bottom of the pecking order.  I warned Pearl and Coral - she is gunna be a big girl.  Treat her nice.  

Event description:  Occasionally, I wake a little late in the day, and for a little while may be a bit "confuddled." Bobbie may (or may not) have slept in with me on any given day.

This morning, as I stumbled towards the glass door to the big girls' yard, I really was still half asleep.   I could see My Rozie out there with the girls.  Then I saw Percy wandering on over as well.  Just then, Bette looked up.

Analysis:  Bette shaped up (literally, puffed up twice her size and went for Percy) just as I opened the door. Bobbie raced out like a shot out of a gun.  (He hates Percy with a passion.)  

Result: There was a lot of noise. Quite a few feathers were shed.  All four birds (Percy included) went hell, west and crooked.  I just blinked, quietly slid the door shut and switched on the coffee machine.  It's a jungle out there!

Comment by Dave Riley on June 21, 2015 at 22:17

My turkey bird has not returned for days. I hope she is OK. My defensive strategy  may be working.

  • a loose line of twine run just above the fence line making entrance and exit  more difficult
  • bamboo stakes -- skewers - embedded pointy end upwards in the garden beds.

I know this last measure works because I prick myself often while gardening and the skewers draw blood and hurt. I'm glad I didn't make them poisoned tipped.

She has done damage in my sweet potato patch but nothing that is disastrous.

In our last encounters I was leaving long sticks near my main pathway and if she was out back, I'd pick one at these up and balance  it like a spear. As she ran away from me, I'd crouch into hunter/gatherer mode and throw the projectile so  it clattered against the fence.

Scared the bejeebers out of the bird it did and made me feel master of my own domain.

The thought of having to mesh my beds -- as per the anti-fauna norm --was giving me nightmares.

So there's a turkey measure -- ab hoc and on the cheap: bamboo skewers --available in all good supermarkets. They last for a  while in the dirt, but even when they begin to rot the bird doesn't know that, and like Roadrunners, bush turkeys keep to the transit lanes anyway -- except when stopping for takeaway.

As we know that's all about available parking spaces.

I hope it isn't premature, but I'm celebrating. Glad-- but still a little sad.I am some how reminded of that poem by John Lillison, England's greatest one-armed poet.  John was the first person ever to be killed in a car crash, in 1894.

Pointy Bird
O pointy birds, o pointy pointy,
Anoint my head, anointy-nointy.

It may seem pathetic  to get all mopey over a bird,who comes and goes.  Despite our conflicts, I thought we had something.I wasn't stalking: honest! These things tend to make me upset.  It pains me to think  we parted on bad terms. But at times like this I go back and read some more Lillison. Here's another favorite of mine:

In Dillman's Grove, our love did die,
And now in ground shall ever lie.
None could e'er replace her visage,
Until your face brought thoughts of kissage.

PS:No bestiality is intended on my part.

PSS: Maybe the turkey is more real than John Lillison?  Maybe...I'm sorry, I'm getting emotional. Really: I don't know.

[Sniffs and blows nose.]

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on June 14, 2015 at 13:22

Bloody Percy is jumbing my 1.8 meter fence!  

However, there is some good news:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJqZagYHQDg

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